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Red Wine and the Secret of Superconductivity

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-ask-bender dept.

Japan 105

cold fjord writes "Red wine is a popular marinade for meat, but it also may become a popular treatment for creating iron-based superconductors as well (Link to academic paper): 'Last year, a group of Japanese physicists grabbed headlines around the world by announcing that they could induce superconductivity in a sample of iron telluride by soaking it in red wine. They found that other alcoholic drinks also worked — white wine, beer, sake and so on — but red wine was by far the best. The question, of course, is why. What is it about red wine that does the trick? Today, these guys provide an answer — at least in part. Keita Deguchi at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and a few buddies, say the mystery ingredient is tartaric acid and have the experimental data to show that it plays an important role in the process. ... It turns out the best performer is a wine made from the gamay grape — for the connoisseurs, that's a 2009 Beajoulais from the Paul Beaudet winery in central France.'"

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Well, obviously (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462639)

Alcohol -> less resistance.

And we needed scientists to figure this out... why?

Re:Well, obviously (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462751)

Why you...! You fuckin' little!

Why do you always oppose such!?

Re:Well, obviously (3, Funny)

waterbear (190559) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463091)

But are they sure that it wasn't the observers who were inadvertently soaked in red wine?

Re:Well, obviously (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463203)

Grand slam!

Re:Well, obviously (5, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463401)

Alcohol -> less resistance.

And we needed scientists to figure this out... why?

Well sure, they said any alcohol would do. But why does red wine work best?

Clearly red wines are superior to white wines. But if we're talking about lowering resistance, you'd expect beer or wine coolers to be far more effective. Or jello shots. Did they even try jello shots?

Re:Well, obviously (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39464439)

Or jello shots. Did they even try jello shots?

Freaking priceless dude, I almost fell out of my chair that was so awesome. Makes me want to go back to school :)

So, if we drink red wine... (1)

ToiletBomber (2269914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462655)

do we get electrocuted easier?

Re:So, if we drink red wine... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462663)

so, Toilet Bomber.... Were you the one that clogged the toilet last week? They had to call in a hazmat team to clear it out. The humanity.

Re:So, if we drink red wine... (3, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463983)

do we get electrocuted easier?

No, we just get really really good at leading orchestras. At least, we think we do,

Ah-ha! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462657)

That's why Bender drinks. To keep the superconductors flowing.
I thought the alcohol was fuel.

Re:Ah-ha! (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462725)

I suppose he has some sort of internal chemistry lab to separate the ethanol from the tartaric acid.

Re:Ah-ha! (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462919)

Alcohol yes, but wine?!

How about a spot of tea, jerkwad?

Just an excuse. (5, Funny)

billcarson (2438218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462675)

This is just a cover for their excessive spending of their research grant on booze.

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

smaddox (928261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462773)

HAHAHA. Oh man. That was a good one.

Now I just need to think of a way to involve indian pale ales with semiconductor optoelectronics...

Re:Just an excuse. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462775)

"No, seriously, that request for a bottle of 1947 Cheval Blanc is absolutely critical to our research!"

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

schrodingersGato (2602023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462881)

Awesome. Now I can tell my boss that the 5th of bourbon I keep in my lab bench is critical to my work. Let the experimentations begin!

Re:Just an excuse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462997)

Where do you keep the other four bottles?

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463029)

I quit drinking a couple of decades ago so I don't know but....do they still sell 5th's nowadays?

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463239)

Nowadays (in all cases that I'm aware of, but I don't pay much attention) the standard wine bottles are 0.75 liter and 1.5 liter ('Magnum'). My big bottle of Jim Beam is 1.75 liters. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , of course, has the full explanation, but one fifth (0.20 US gallon) is 0.757 liters, so the 'new' sizes are slightly smaller than the old.

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463449)

I was usually into quart jars with the screw on lids. Anything to avoid paying taxes.

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463523)

Watch out for those lead car radiators.

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463217)

I envision a man in a lab coat walking to the register with a cart full of alcohol.
"What? It's for SCIENCE!"

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

cyclopropene (777291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463647)

This immediately reminded me of a paper I came across some years ago reporting measurement of the magnetic susceptibility of cigarette ash from different brands of cigarettes:

Magentism of Cigarette Ashes (pdf) [google.com]

From the experimental section:

We have studied ashes (whole products residue)
from smoked by different smokers cigarettes from
three different commercially available on the
market brands, labeled as follows: Camel
(CM)—three varieties: Camel filter normal (CM),
Camel Light (CML) and Camel 100s (CM100);
Marlboro (MR) and the Bulgarian brand
Shipka (SH). Ashes were collected in glass pots
and used for magnetic measurements without
further treatment.

Glass pots. You mean, ashtrays?

(by the way, I have had that same sig for many years, but it perhaps has never been so appropriate...)

Re:Just an excuse. (1)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | about 2 years ago | (#39465413)

This is just a cover for their excessive spending of their research grant on booze.

Hmm... interesting. I think I'll start pitching website design for, let's see... Iron Horse Champagne, Stella Artois... let's add some Sony displays and, er, what's a good caviar? Toss in some Ashlynn Brooke...

"No, boss! It's all for research! Really!"

No really! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462677)

I see. So the next time I walk into the liquor store and buy a ton of shit; I'll just say, "I'm a physicist doing super-conducting experiments. No, really!"

Re:No really! (5, Funny)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462831)

The correct line is, "Back off man, I'm a scientist."

Re:No really! (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463043)

Oh man...I wish I had mod points. Good one.

some people I know (4, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462687)

Some people are just walking talking superconductors then.

Re:some people I know (4, Funny)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463677)

given that jesus's blood was wine, that dude would probably exhibit a hell of a meissner effect. maybe that's how he pulled off the whole 'walk on water' shtick.

Re:some people I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39464147)

more like stumbling slurring superconductors

Re:some people I know (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39464247)

It may be the answer to the French Paradox! We need to conduct in-depth research. NIST should deliver all Slashdotters with a case of red each.

visiting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462697)

visiting here, great article, best regards always successful,
http://pgtk--darunnajah.blogspot.com

Tartaric Acid? How did we overlook it? (4, Interesting)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462699)

I mean, does it have chemical properties that have confounded the best minds? Er.. the best minds with a grant to buy wine, that is? No, kidding, but wikipedia says Tartaric acid in grapes,etc also played a role in the discovery of chirality, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartaric_acid). And, in the grocery store the SO, i wondered about what cream of tartar really was... To wit: I know what my next grant proposal should be!

Re:Tartaric Acid? How did we overlook it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462869)

i wondered about what cream of tartar really was...

You ever forget to brush your teeth and later you scrape them with your fingernail and see that white tartar cream stuff that forms on them? Lots of that collected in a container is cream of tartar.

Re:Tartaric Acid? How did we overlook it? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462943)

Er.. the best minds with a grant to buy wine, that is?

Well, how many of us have managed that? Got to respect the mind of anybody who can figure that out.

Re:Tartaric Acid? How did we overlook it? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463051)

I think they were just getting soused and spilled the wine on the experiment. Oops! Hey man, look at that! It works!

Prohibition (5, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462703)

In light of this discovery, imagine if the Prohibition had stuck and became global. And imagine what we could accomplish if the researchers were free to soak the wires in LSD and tires in cannabis solutions? We could have free energy and flying cars, because the laws of physics are like, whatever man.

Re:Prohibition (1)

smaddox (928261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462779)

This is officially the best slashdot article EVAH

Re:Prohibition (2)

dak664 (1992350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462823)

I an with you, discoveries are made when people are free to think. Especially the weird socially challenged thinkers.

Re:Prohibition (2, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462905)

And imagine what we could accomplish if the researchers were free to soak the wires in LSD and tires in cannabis solutions?

Researchers probably could do that if they had a valid scientific reason and went through the proper procedures. The problem is that most people aren't interested in soaking wires or tires, but soaking minds. The result of that is well known.

Marijuana Smokers Face Rapid Lung Destruction -- As Much As 20 Years Ahead Of Tobacco Smokers [sciencedaily.com]
Marijuana Use Precedes Psychosis [go.com]

We could have free energy and flying cars, because the laws of physics are like, whatever man.

We already have flying cars, but they aren't really economical. There is more "free lunch" than there is "free energy".

People should never confuse mind-altering substances with reality-altering substances.

Re:Prohibition (3, Funny)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463057)

Dude, you are like...such a drag man. What a downer.

Re:Prohibition (2)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463343)

Dude, you are like...such a drag man. What a downer.

A bigger downer than chemotherapy or time in a mental institution?

Which are the biggest boobs [southparkstudios.com] ?

Picnics with friends, rock climbing, hiking, parachuting, white-water rafting, a good book - plenty of other things to do.

It doesn't matter how open-minded you are, or how pure the LSD, you still can't fly. Step off the ledge without a rope and you're going to die.

Re:Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463481)

It doesn't matter how open-minded you are, or how pure the LSD, you still can't fly. Step off the ledge without a rope and you're going to die.

What a dick. Fuck him! He's an idiot. [youtube.com]

Re:Prohibition (2)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463663)

He says it would be great to hear a positive drug story, but he doesn't actually tell a real one. I guess it's supposed to be funny as long as you aren't the one on a bad trip, or dying.

Trends in Unintentional Drug Overdose Deaths [hhs.gov]

The mortality rates from unintentional drug overdose (not including alcohol) have risen steadily since the early 1970s, and over the past ten years they have reached historic highs. Rates are currently 4 to 5 times higher than the rates during the “black tar” heroin epidemic in the mid-1970s and more than twice what they were during the peak years of crack cocaine in the early 1990s. The rate shown for 2005 translates into 22,400 unintentional and intentional drug overdose deaths. To put this in context, just over 17,000 homicides occurred in 2005. The number of drug overdose deaths does not yet exceed the number of motor vehicle crash deaths overall, but for the first time more people in the 45-54 age group now die of drug overdoses than from traffic crashes.

Re:Prohibition (4, Informative)

six025 (714064) | about 2 years ago | (#39464669)

He says it would be great to hear a positive drug story, but he doesn't actually tell a real one. I guess it's supposed to be funny as long as you aren't the one on a bad trip, or dying.

Trends in Unintentional Drug Overdose Deaths [hhs.gov]

If you actually read the linked article you will find that these "drug overdose deaths" are not attributed to street drugs (heroin, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy etc) but to prescription drugs or "opioid pain killers" (OxyContin and Vicodin). This is just one of the choice quotes (there are many) from a quick scan of the linked article and summary:

One might assume that the increase in drug overdose deaths is due to an increased use of street drugs like heroin and cocaine, because we have in the past associated such drugs with overdoses. However, in a paper published in 2006, the CDC drilled down to another level to look at the codes given to the specific drugs recorded on the death certificates through 2004. When these more specific drugs were tabulated, we found that street drugs were not behind the increase. The increase from 1999 to 2004 was driven largely by opioid analgesics, with a smaller contribution from cocaine, and essentially no contribution from heroin. The number of deaths in the narcotics category that involved prescription opioid analgesics increased from 2,900 in 1999 to at least 7,500 in 2004, an increase of 160% in just 5 years.[1] By 2004, opioid painkiller deaths numbered more than the total of deaths involving heroin and cocaine in this category.

In future, when attacking a subject you know very little about, at least have the decency to provide links and analysis that back up your claims instead of fear driven media bullshit. Thank you.

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39470405)

Gracias, Andy! In the name of the rest who call bs on cold fjord.
The only death by cannabis was when a dock worker had a ton of it fall on his head, k? Thx!

Re:Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39465189)

The fact that you just replied seriously to a link to a Bill Hicks video tells me that you are a massive, massive, penis.

Re:Prohibition (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463747)

It doesn't matter how open-minded you are, or how pure the LSD, you still can't fly.

And it doesn't matter how many people believe a stupid urban legend about LSD [snopes.com] , it's still not true that taking LSD makes you think you can fly.

Which is not to say that people can't use psychedelic drugs irresponsibly. But they can also go rock climbing, hiking, parachuting, or white-water rafting irresponsibly, or eat irresponsibly ("these wild mushrooms are edible, right?").

Re:Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39464351)

No, but I met this kid in psych ward who was literally digging his own grave in his backyard with a shovel when his parents found him all wigged out.

Re:Prohibition (4, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463415)

Your go.com link is bullshit - "They acknowledged some limitations, including the use of self-reported data, the lack of adjustment for a family history of psychosis, and possible bias from selected recall" - that much doubt means it's not even worth considering. When they eliminate all those doubts and get within 6-sigma I'll consider it.

Ditto your sciencedaily (which is about as reliable as the Daily Mail) - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360494/ [nih.gov] - in fact there are hundreds more reliable studies than the crap you're posting, which aren't even from reliable sources.

Re:Prohibition (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463597)

You seem to be confusing the issue of reporting on a released study versus original reporting or research.

. . . that much doubt means it's not even worth considering. When they eliminate all those doubts and get within 6-sigma I'll consider it.

Do let me know when the FDA begins approving double blind randomized studies of illegal drugs on minors, won't you?

Ditto your sciencedaily (which is about as reliable as the Daily Mail) - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360494/ [nih.gov] [nih.gov] - in fact there are hundreds more reliable studies than the crap you're posting, which aren't even from reliable sources.

Well, maybe this will be more to your liking? It is also several years more recent than the one you quote.

Bullous lung disease due to marijuana - Respirology. 2008 Jan;13(1):122-7. [nih.gov]

CONCLUSIONS: Marijuana smoking leads to asymmetrical bullous disease, often in the setting of normal CXR and lung function. In subjects who smoke marijuana, these pathological changes occur at a younger age (approximately 20 years earlier) than in tobacco smokers.

Emphysema and secondary pneumothorax in young adults smoking cannabis - Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2007 Dec;32(6):834-8. Epub 2007 Oct 10. [nih.gov]

CONCLUSIONS: In case of emphysema in young individuals, marijuana abuse has to be considered in the differential diagnosis. The period of marijuana smoking seems to play an important role in the development of lung emphysema. This obviously quite frequent condition in young and so far asymptomatic patients will have medical, financial, and ethical impact, as some of these patients may be severely handicapped or even become lung transplant candidates in the future.

Smoked marijuana as a cause of lung injury - Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2005 Jun;63(2):93-100. [nih.gov]

Abstract
In many societies, marijuana is the second most commonly smoked substance after tobacco. While delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is unique to marijuana and nicotine to tobacco, the smoke of marijuana, like that of tobacco, consists of a toxic mixture of gases and particulates, many of which are known to be harmful to the lung. Although far fewer marijuana than tobacco cigarettes are generally smoked on a daily basis, the pulmonary consequences of marijuana smoking may be magnified by the greater deposition of smoke particulates in the lung due to the differing manner in which marijuana is smoked. Whereas THC causes modest short-term bronchodilation, regular marijuana smoking produces a number of long-term pulmonary consequences, including chronic cough and sputum, histopathologic evidence of widespread airway inflammation and injury and immunohistochemical evidence of dysregulated growth of respiratory epithelial cells, that may be precursors to lung cancer. The THC in marijuana could contribute to some of these injurious changes through its ability to augment oxidative stress, cause mitochondrial dysfunction, and inhibit apoptosis. On the other hand, physiologic, clinical or epidemiologic evidence that marijuana smoking may lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or respiratory cancer is limited and inconsistent. Habitual use of marijuana is also associated with abnormalities in the structure and function of alveolar macrophages, including impairment in microbial phagocytosis and killing that is associated with defective production of immunostimulatory cytokines and nitric oxide, thereby potentially predisposing to pulmonary infection. In view of the growing interest in medicinal marijuana, further epidemiologic studies are needed to clarify the true risks of regular marijuana smoking on respiratory health.

Re:Prohibition (3, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463673)

Again, your links suck. Especially with a SELECTED SAMPLE GROUP OF TEN FUCKING PEOPLE.

Do you know how studies with reputation work? It isn't with a shitty sample that small.

Fucking only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39464645)

To complete the sample you'd need at least some NON-FUCKING PEOPLE. Any volunteers around? Come-on, slashdotters ;-)

(Gah. The captcha generator. It's pre-scient. Captcha was "cruelty")

Re:Prohibition (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463721)

Dude your are late in medical sciences : the latest definitive study from the Journal of American Medical Association:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/307/2/173.short

That studies analyzing the data on more than 5000 persons conclude that marijuana alone is almost harmless, marijuana + tobacco == really bad and finally tobacco == quite bad

Stop it with your propagandist hysterical DEA funded rhetoric.

Re:Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463169)

This is idiotic, drinking alcohol might be prohibited but using it: NO! It is widely used in medicals!

Re:Prohibition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463361)

Can we just have one fucking article without potheads and drug addicts trying to legitimize their addiction?

Look at how many musicians we've lost thanks to drugs. Brilliant, creative minds, gone, because of their addictions. There is no worse pairing than genius and chemical dependency.

I'm tired of this fantasy that cool hip smart brainiacs do amazing research AND are blazing up and snorting coke at the same time. It just doesn't happen. Did you notice that people like Timothy Leary were complete failures and frauds? That all major scientific research about drugs is shoddy science carried out by people with incredible bias? (e.g. lifelong pothead doing research paper on "spiritual awakenings" though LSD). How many real, legitimate scientists who have done important and credible research are also life long heroin users or pot addicts or huff glue out of a bag?

If you want to do drugs, fine. But stop telling everyone about it, stop trying to put on every fucking street corner, stop acting like your fucked up lifestyle is the new normal. We spend millions of dollars every fucking year to help drug addicts who's lives are out of control and they are out of control because of dumb fucks like YOU promoting, encouraging, and celebrating drug use.

But you know what, you are too busy getting high to give a coherent and rational response. It will be "you need to smoke some herb and chill, bro" or some bullshit about the Prohibition or about how medical marijuana is being attacked by the Big Pharma and the Government in some kind of two-pronged conspiracy.

Next time you want to get high, slash your wrists and bleed to death. You'll be doing the rest of society a favor.

Re:Prohibition (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 years ago | (#39464521)

this troll is too obvious.

Re:Prohibition (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463503)

Yeah. Imagine all the productive drunk-driving deaths that would never have happened. Or the families ruined by alcoholism. Or people who were raped or become pregnant only because they were drunk at the time.

I'm not arguing that Prohibition was a good idea. But I think you're glossing over the possible up-sides of an alcohol-free society.

Re:Prohibition (3, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 2 years ago | (#39464029)

I'm not arguing that Prohibition was a good idea. But I think you're glossing over the possible up-sides of an alcohol-free society.

Never confuse a society where X is outlawed, with an X-free society.

Re:Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39465911)

There is a reason prohibition didn't work. give me $10 and a month, and I'll give you a gallon of booze. It's ridiculously cheap and easy to make, not to mention very difficult to determine who is making it. There are no unusual chemicals or chemical combinations to purchase, It only takes 1cubic foot of space in a closet to store the equipment. Making the ingredients illegal will destroy entire industries, controlling them will have little to no impact because all of the ingredients grow wild to be cultivated.

Re:Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39465117)

Not sure how this got modded up to 5. Cannabis dumbs you down to the point that you can hardly concentrate and LSD use ends up causing psychosis. Hardly anything useful.

I'm glad they found a good use for wine. Never understood why anyone would drink something that tastes like shit.

--
Marcan, asshole [mailto] and proud.

Hear! Hear! (2)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462721)

Better and easier ways to make superconductors? I'll drink to that. Skål! Maljanne! Cheers! Zum Wohl! Prosit! Santé! Salud!

It's Beaujolais, not Beajoulais (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462749)

Please fix the post.

That explains it.... (3, Funny)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462781)

I think that explains why my brain seems to go faster after 1-2 bottles.

Re:That explains it.... (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462791)

2 bottles? I'm an, er, "experienced" drinker, but there's no way I could put away 2 bottles of wine and not wish I hadn't!

Re:That explains it.... (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462871)

Depends perhaps on body mass and the quality of wine involved?

Re:That explains it.... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#39465465)

He doesn't mention the time period or what he's doing at the time. One bottle of wine by itself and I'll feel quite ill. One bottle drunk over a couple of hours along with a big meal is quite different. Something like new years eve last year where we started dinner at 6pm and finished it at around midnight involved more than two bottles per person, but that's only one bottle every 3 hours, so you don't end up horrendously drunk.

Simple pleasures (3, Insightful)

rbmorse (833877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462783)

I'm glad to hear a 2009 Beaujolais is good for something.

Re:Simple pleasures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462819)

d(^_^)b

Merci pour l'orthographe.

I'll drink to that! (2)

SDcard (2498974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462833)

Altho I'd far rather hear how they justified it to the powers-that-be when they discovered that red wine had been "accidentally" introduced to the experiment after the lab xmas party!

Why did they do this (4, Interesting)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462841)

By far, the more interesting question about this discovery is what kind of reasoning brought these researchers to dip their samples in wine and test if superconductivity would emerge? Did they try some other random stuff from tap water to fluorhydric acid via a collection of leftover drinks they had in the closet, or does this experiment proceed from some well formed theoretical background ?

Re:Why did they do this (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462865)

Sometimes it doesn't hurt to try things at random first, and then see what theories fit the facts afterwards. A lot of great inventions were accidental.

Re:Why did they do this (3, Funny)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462941)

Probably had a theist on staff.

When you mix the most "spiritually transformative" substance described with the most "spiritually inhibitory" substance... something weird's probably going to happen. ;)

Re:Why did they do this (2)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462955)

By far, the more interesting question about this discovery is what kind of reasoning brought these researchers to dip their samples in wine and test if superconductivity would emerge?

Not the first scientists to take such a tangent:
http://www.physorg.com/news145255770.html [physorg.com]

A team of Mexican scientists found that the heated vapor from 80-proof (40% alcohol) tequila blanco, when deposited on a silicon or stainless steel substrate, can form diamond films.

Re:Why did they do this (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463143)

One of the researchers spilled wine on the samples. "Sheriously, I'm j-just addin a n-new ingredient!" That was his story and he stuck with it.

Re:Why did they do this (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463553)

The theories of the mechanisms behind room temperature superconductivity are weird and incomplete so there's been a bit of "let's just try this" since the 1990s to try to make it a bit more clear.
For example the relatively easy to make BiSiCuYt superconductor actually performs better with much less than 100% of the superconducting phase. Why? A few years ago nobody had any firm ideas and I haven't heard that has changed.

Re:Why did they do this (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463697)

This falls under the "who would ever try that" umbrella.

How many drinks did they try, and how did Coke fair?

Toad licking also falls under this category. How many things did they lick before trying toads, and did they stop licking random things after that?

How did this happen? (1)

neonv (803374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462847)

Frat researcher party and some drunk spills wine on the super conducter

"Heeeyy, looook, tere's les resistence in te coils !!!!"

Quick, someone check the date. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39462863)

Is it April 1st yet?

Another Great Question Answered (2)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39462995)

So THAT's what "pièce de résistance" means!

In Deference to an old Shoe Cartoon (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463001)

[...] that's a 2009 Beajoulais from the Paul Beaudet winery in central France.

It's not often you find a red wine that goes well with fish and can reduce electrical resistance.

(I wish I could find it on the web, but it reminds me of an old Shoe [shoecomics.com] comic reviewing a wine where the writer says, "It's not often you find a wine that goes well with your dinner and you can burn in your furnace.")

Re:In Deference to an old Shoe Cartoon (5, Interesting)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463319)

"It's not often you find a wine that goes well with your dinner and you can burn in your furnace."

Man, I've had that wine. My neighbor many years ago used to make his own. His purpose was not drinkability, it was alcohol content. He was breeding yeasts that would survive in higher levels of alcohol, so he could get 'hardness' without illegally distilling.

Actually it's a classic how-geeks-do-things story. He was an electrical engineer, who came from a family of botanists. Being of Swedish extraction, his tolerance for alcohol was very high - for 20 years he had an eight ounce glass of vodka for breakfast, and then went off to work designing the first 700 KV DC intertie for Bonneville Power, delivering power over 1000 miles from the Columbia River to Sacramento. He ran through a fifth of vodka every day. This was expensive.

(Side note - being a geek he figured out that he was getting all the calories he needed from the vodka, but he needed minerals, vitamins, protein, etc. - so he made a special bread that provided all the other needs, and ate a sandwich every day.)

As it happened, he had an 'in' at the local college that had a small nuclear reactor for medical isotopes. So over several years he regularly irradiated yeast cultures to accelerate mutations, and then subjected them to increasing levels of alcohol, selecting for tolerance.

After several years, he got to the point of making wine (from blackberries on my family's place) that was 26 % alcohol - 52 proof. It tasted worse than paint thinner and a five ounce glass would put me out for the rest of the evening. But it was a totally legal home-brewed 'wine'.

Re:In Deference to an old Shoe Cartoon (2)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463853)

On one hand I enjoy imbibing and creating things and cocktails and liquor culture. On the other hand your friend sounds like an alcoholic with no knowledge of nutrition. Alcohol has calories, yes, but it's not that simple, even if you also "supplement" with protein fat and carb calories. You can't fill in the blanks starting from an alcohol diet; or rather you can due to the resilience of the body but it isn't healthy and will not be healthy in the long run.

Re:In Deference to an old Shoe Cartoon (1)

subreality (157447) | about 2 years ago | (#39464569)

So over several years he regularly irradiated yeast cultures to accelerate mutations, and then subjected them to increasing levels of alcohol, selecting for tolerance.

I can think of no better way to make truly mad science socially acceptable. This man is a hero.

How to spell Beaujolais (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463049)

or not. Kids these days...

That wine, btw, very good for not much $$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463145)

Regardless of your love for superconductivity, that wine is worth sampling.

one week too early (2)

Mysund (60792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463187)

This wasnt supposed to be public before next saturday...

That's not all wine can do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463331)

I don't suppose American slashdotters remember the old UK comedy movie about the little Central European Grand Dutchy of Fenwick, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057328/ , where they discover that their wine makes perfect rocket fuel, and enter the Space Race....

Superconducts in what temperature range? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463397)

I assume the temperature still needs to be only a few degrees above absolute zero, even with the wine-soaked compound...?

I remember there was a big worldwide competition among cryogenic physicists in the '80s to discover materials that would superconduct at relatively high temperatures, but they were still talking about very low temperatures. At one point, the race just stopped (I think it was after the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to the pair of scientists who published the paper that kicked it off).

Re:Superconducts in what temperature range? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39463701)

Liquid nitrogen temperatures are a lot higher than absolute zero and put some of this stuff within the capabilities and budgets of even high school chemistry labs. Room temperature superconductivity hasn't happened yet so the press has lost interest.

I can't wait until this is used on Doctor Who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463483)

Yup - just imagine he's fighting alien monsters in the 1900s, so he pour red wine on an iron bar, then uses it to redirect energy blasts and save the queen...

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39463679)

So if I drink this wine and then scuff my feet on carpeting could I kill someone and claim it was an accident?

How did they discover this? (2)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39464205)

How did they discover this?

Its truly hard to think of a reason why they would soak a piece of iron telluride in red wine and then decide to test its superconductivity.

WTF were they doing?

Re:How did they discover this? (1)

Mongo T. Oaf (2600419) | about 2 years ago | (#39464597)

That's what I was wondering. After a hard day at the lab, they were probably sitting around drinking some wine, and someone said, " Screw this stupid experiment". The most drunk researcher took the bottle of wine and poured it on the iron telluride. The digital readouts went crazy. But all were drunk and nothing was recorded until the next day. More grant funds. Slashdot will hear about this.

Interesting new field (1)

mattr (78516) | about 2 years ago | (#39464729)

IANAP but seems to parallel the recent discovery of an ability to dial up electronic properties through an exotic organic film over metal.

obligatory (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | about 2 years ago | (#39464901)

I, for one, salute our new grape-growing superconducting overlords!

Discovery by breaking rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39465293)

Most probably, they spilled wine on the superconductor while having a booze fest in the labs :P

Coincidently... (1)

Palamos (1379347) | about 2 years ago | (#39465803)

It works with women too, although Rose seems to perform better.

At what temperature is it superconductive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39466031)

Can anyone tell me?

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